“The kind of resilience and gene pool that small towns give to talented people is unmatched,” said fashion journalist Shefali Vasudev at the concluding session of the three-day Chandigarh Literati organised by Chandigarh Literary Society, on Sunday.
The final interaction was all about home, small towns, the ancient Indian way and the rise of the new elite with author Amish Tripathi of the Shiva trilogy fame. He was here at the literary festival held at the Lake Club and had just finished an engaging session on mythology with author Ashwin Sanghi.
“The lifestyle is different in small towns and people there are more rooted to their culture because everyone lives as one big family. For me, home is the most comfortable place. I am a proud Indian and I’d want to be born as an Indian in my next life,” said the author who was born in Mumbai and grew up in a small town 30 km away from Rourkela, Odisha.
Vasudev then veered the subject towards the literary world that has an elitist slant and asked whether he had been the butt of covered and uncovered assumptions.
“While critics praised me for my stories and philosophy, there were suggestions that I should work on my language and style. But I’ll stick to my style because that’s what I am,” he said.
Asking him about the visually sinuous images he had created in his books, Vasudev asked him whether writing about Shiva was his calling.
“It’s there in my mind all the time, this parallel universe. I feel their emotions so much so that I laugh and cry with them. It’s a world only I dwell in and for me that world is as real as the world we live in,” said Amish, adding that he recorded what he saw and to him it was a blessing rather than a calling.
“I was never creative when I was younger. Maybe, Shiva has a tendency to help the worst among us first,” he said.
Strictly staying away from political commentary, Amish said as modern day India we were undergoing a process of ‘manthan’.
“This is the age of the downfall of the old elite and the rise of the new elite. So the time has now come to the conversation among the new elite. Since we are a bottom-up culture, our politicians are savvy. They care about impacting public opinion and what will get them votes.
“But we are naturally rebellious. Right now, the conversation between us matters and needs to change. Once that happens, our politicians will hear us,” Amish added.